Heavenly TV: Jesus Christ Superstar coming to Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

Heavenly cast: Left to right, comedian Tim Minchin, musical genius Andrew Lloyd Webber, pop star Melanie C and DJ Chris Moyles.
Heavenly cast: Left to right, comedian Tim Minchin, musical genius Andrew Lloyd Webber, pop star Melanie C and DJ Chris Moyles.

HEAVENS above! This superstar line-up is bringing rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar to Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena.

BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles will make his major stage debut as King Herod.

Former Sporty Spice Melanie C is Mary Magdalene and comedian Tim Minchin is confirmed as Judas Iscariot.

But show bosses are putting their faith in the public to pick the right man for Jesus, which will go to the winner of forthcoming ITV live prime time talent show, Superstar.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the musical with Tim Rice, will head a panel of judges on the TV show which will follow the same format as How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Any Dream Will Do, I’d Do Anything and Over the Rainbow.

Those shows found stars to perform in West End productions of The Sound Of Music, Joseph, Oliver and The Wizard Of Oz.

But this show, promoted by the Really Useful Group and AEG Live, will be the first ever UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

It will play 11 cities ending in Sheffield on Sunday, October 21.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “Jesus Christ Superstar began life as an album followed by a sell-out arena tour of the US. Tim and I are delighted it will finally play an arena tour in the UK in venues where many of the world’s great rock acts have gone before. We’re thrilled to have such great talent in the cast for the new show – they are all true ambassadors of UK entertainment. The re-mastered album sounds fantastic and we hope that fans both old and new will enjoy it.”

Tim Minchin said: “As a huge fan of Jesus Christ Superstar, I’ve always thought it needed three key things: a big cast and band; loads of volume; and me playing Judas. I’ve been in two small productions of the show, and understudied the big man both times. I am really bloody

excited about this.”

Melanie C, who turned on Sheffield city centre’s Christmas lights and recently returned to play Sheffield’s O2 Academy, said: “I have been lucky enough to perform at arenas across the globe and to star in London’s West End but taking on the role of Mary Magdalene in the incredible Jesus Christ Superstar has to be one my most exciting challenges to date.

“I can’t wait to take the show to some of my favourite venues in the UK with such a talented and formidable cast including Tim and Chris.”

Chris Moyles said: “To receive a phonecall from Andrew is very cool, but then when he asks you to be in his musical that’s pretty amazing and

there is only one thing to respond with... And that is yes! Absolutely! My mum’s gonna be well excited!”

To celebrate the 40th aniversary of the show’s West End debut, the original Jesus Christ Superstar double-album, released in 1970 and

featuring Ian Gillan as ‘Jesus’, has been digitally re-mastered and will be released on through Polydor on July 16.

* Tickets, price £45 to £65, go on sale in Sheffield this Friday at 9am. See www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or call 0114 256 5656.